The True Answer to HIV/AIDS

In the William Easterly article we read this week on HIV/AIDS, we see how the West has failed in many regards to bring attention and relief to those regions in Africa devastated by it. He says that the West didn’t act soon enough. We are now at a fork in the road as to where we go from here in trying to stop the infection rate and care for those already infected with the virus?

I believe the answer to that question has to be one where you try and support both those who are ‘living with HIV’, but ultimately seeking to prevent the spread of the virus from mother to child. This simple one step process can have a tremendous impact, and could potentially lead to the first AIDS free generation, which would be huge. I think we need to stress the emphasis for better education around sexual health.

I think that there is no point in looking for people to blame, or try to come to some elaborate answer as to why we didn’t act sooner. I think both Western and African nations need to come together and tackle this issue head on much like the World Bank has done. I believe that one of the greatest things done to raise funds for the Global Fund was the (RED) line of products. (RED) teamed up with major companies including; Apple, Motorola, GAP and Armani, who subsequently decided to donate a large portion of money made through the sale of consumer goods to the fund. This turns consumerism on its head and allows us to still have a positive impact while drawing attention to the subject. I think embracing any possible solution will help in bringing an end to this devastating virus which has killed tens of millions of people worldwide.

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War and Strife – A Focus on South Ossetia

In this weeks blog post I wanted to write more on the conflict which occurred in South Ossetia. In 2008, the disputed territory of South Ossetia, a region in between Russia and Georgia was becoming contested by both Russia and Georgia. Russia promoted the South Ossetian’s bid to form an independent state, and Georgia was forced to accept this fact. This all changed however after the Rose Revolution when Georgia’s new president Mikheil Saakashvilli strengthened its military with help from the the U.S and began an assault on the territory of South Ossetia. Russia and the South Ossetian military pushed back Georgian forces and even encroached on there home territory. It was a terrible defeat for Georgia and truly proved that even with its bid to join NATO and aid provided by the U.S couldn’t assert itself against a global super power. Georgia was forced to accept South Ossetia’s right to exist as an independent state, even if that state was truly still under the clear influence of Russia.

When it comes to the conflict which occurred in 2008, I think Russia throwing much of its military muscle at it served two main purposes. One, to prove that it still had dominion and control of its former and neighbouring territory. Two, to prove not just to the Georgian’s but to the West that its leadership under Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin would be ruthless against any NATO or U.S role in the region. I also wanted to write about this topic because I could relate to the photograph on page 243 of the text, where a tank is driving down the street with a prominent billboard of Vladimir Putin on the side of it. I went to Russia last August and I saw this sort of political propaganda everywhere. Billboards featured Putin much more than Medvedev. It just goes to show how polarizing a figure he was, even though he  hadn’t been re-elected at that point. Of course he was recently re-elected to the countries top job under great criticism; and it is without a doubt that Russia will still be closely watched for many years, so long as he still has a foot in Russian politics.

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IGO “Intergovernmental Organizations”

Intergovernmental organizations have proven very successful at solving disputes between states as well as fostering habits of “cooperation” as it says in the text. The United Nations is one of these organizations, and as we saw in last classes movie, “The Peacekeepers”, they have been affective at establishing peace and security in places ravaged by war. One part of that film which really stood out for me, was how they managed to conduct many Peacekeeping operations although they often had many things working against them; such as financing issues, equipment, and troop deployment. This is a great aspect of the United Nations, and although they couldn’t bring about a resolution to prevent the war in Iraq (2003), they still managed to have a positive impact on the world stage in and around that same period. Intergovernmental organizations are also very important because they help to enforce the rule of law on the world stage, and help to expose injustice in many parts of the world.

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International Law Article

For this weeks assignment I found an article of what Russia (a former superpowers) view would be of a pre-emptive strike by Western nations on Iran and Syria. Russia believes that any attack would be seen as a violation of international law. Russia seems to believe that international law provides the “mechanism” needed to settle this dispute and thinks that any decision to use force should only be legitimized after discussions among members of the United Nations security council.  

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Blog Post #3 “The Holder of the Balance”

Morgenthau states that the “holder” is the most powerful factor in international politics. The nation which holds the balance of power has no permanent enemies, and no permanent friends. It has only the permanent interest of maintaining the balance of power itself. The nation that is the “holder” often will also decide who will win and lose in a certain situation or conflict. The holder can use its power by joining an alliance, supporting a peace settlement, or by seeking the benefits of its own national policy.

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The New World Order and the Future

At the end of this weeks readings, I saw the term “New World Order” and “collective security” appear. These terms are very relevant to not just the course but to each and every one of our lives, as our world is become ever more interconnected.

It becomes clear that the idea of the “New World Order” started around the collapse of the Soviet Union, when relations began again between the two great superpowers. With the two of them being permanent members of the UN Security Council, they found themselves in the position to work alongside one another again. The relationship that was forged was that no two countries were going to decide the fate of the planet anymore. That more countries were to be involved in plans that affected us all. The first test of this was the Gulf War, where they passed resolutions imposing sanctions on Iraq. Then subsequently military action. The war went very smoothly, and Iraqi forces were soon pushed out of Kuwait. This showed what could happen when countries worked together towards a common goal.

The question we have got to ask is: Have we stopped living in a world of superpowers, only to be in a world of nations forming together to create new superpowers?

We have seen through history how countries bonded together to protect themselves and mutual interests, but what are we giving up when we form an alliance with another country? Are we agreeing to go to war alongside them, or are we making a much larger sacrifice in terms of our sovereignty and economic independence?

I am afraid that we will soon be sacrificing a lot more in the future as we continue to make alliances with one another. Perhaps even our national identities.


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Chapter 2 Post

This is a post about the Cold War. The Cuban Missile Crises was an event that exemplified the idea of the Cold War as a “series of confrontations” between the United States and the Soviet Union. 

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My Favourite Vacation Spot

I have traveled all over the world but with out a doubt my favourite place is England.

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